Ashley McDaniel

My photo
So a lot of you have asked me to do a blog while I'm in Korea. Even though I'm html and blog challenged, I thought I still might try. Throughout my time in Korea (south of course) i will update each day on here, showing you where I went, what I did and ate. I'm sure some of you probably are already assuming that my diet will consist of fast food and sweets. However, I'm not going to limit my experience to such foods I could easily find back in the states. Thank you all for the support and I hope that you all will stay tuned in! :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

almost D day. .

Dear readers: 

Today is December 8, 2010, in six days I will depart from Inchon Airport via airplane and travel 8,000 miles back to the US of A. I know my time here hasn't been the longest, but still I can feel a self transformation. In my mind, I'm sure all of you want to hear me say how great my trip has been and how wonderful everything was, but truthfully its been a rough and long road. I'm not saying it has been negative or that I regret living here; however, making this trip has given me a little or actually a huge bite (not just a taste) of how the "world" really is. I also would like to say how grown up I have become, but I'm confident in saying that I still have much more to learn and much more to experience. On the positive side, I have grown up in some areas by being here. For one, back at home I hated to go out by myself, even if it was just a 10 minute trip down their road. Now I'm sure you all are familiar with Seoul being a city, and Mechanicsville is just a little suburb. After Jennifer left and I was basically on my own, I realized that one i stepped out of the door (or elevator if you will), I would have a quick smack in the face, because I knew that all I had was my own 2 feet. Of course there are subways, taxi's, and buses. However, at that time. . i really had no clue of how to use one or all of those, so I just walked. I'm not the type of person that figures out everything right away, or even tries to figure it out. So after a couple of weeks, or maybe even a month, I learned that unless I actually tried and wasn't afraid of letting go. . .I knew nothing was going to change. So at first I would start taking the subway to certain places, and then grew the courage to take a cab, and just recently I have been successfully taking buses. After getting lost a few, or actually many times...I came to the conclusion that getting lost is how we learn. No one knows anything perfectly right away, just because I got lost doesn't mean everyone else didn't make the same mistake before. Basically, I found that I just needed to let go and be a little vulnerable to these basic things in life. Taking a bus or subway may seem like a minimal thing, but to me it was my way of transportation to everywhere, and I knew that walking was not my only option. Even though I'm happy about accomplishing this fear, I know there is still more to learn...more places I haven't explored, and more ways of getting around S Korea I have never taken. So in this way I am to still grateful to have survived all my mistakes, and I am eager to learn more. This is just one lesson I have learned from being here and living on my own. Of course I love my parents and family, but I know that if I always depend on them...I wont learn anything on my own. Even though other people make mistakes, and we get to witness still doesn't have a powerful affect unless we ("I") get to experience for our own. I have learned this quite often, it really does make a difference when you go through something on your own rather than hearing it from a friend or watching a family member make the same mistake. Over all, through the bad and good I have witnessed and experienced here in S Korea, I am still proud of myself and thankful to God, my family, and for those readers and those still praying for me. I love you all, and when I get back. . I will have more to share and pictures to show. I would like to write more, but I think I'll save that story for the next time... hehe anxious to know?? welp if you are, that means you must keep waiting and watching for my next post.

Ashley McD. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

my essay . . .I wrote about my mommie~


제목: 우리 엄마
제가 살아오는 동안 우리 엄마는 저한테 많은 가르침을 주셨어요 중에 하나만 예를 들어볼게요저는 엄마랑 ‘dollar tree’ 라는 상점에 일이 있습니다. 아무것도 모르고 거기에 있는 선글라스를 끼고 나왔어요엄마랑 차를 타고 같이 집에 가던 엄마는 제가 사지도 않은 선글라스를 끼고 있는 것을 발견했지요그걸 보신 바로 차를 돌려 다시 상점에 가셨어요.  1 달러를 지불하기 위해서였어죠그런 엄마의 행동이 저한텐 뜻깊은 가르침으로 지금도  남아있어요

우리 엄마는 저를 너무나노 사랑해 주셨어요. 예를 들면 사실 저는 년간 불량스런 행동도 많이 적이 있었어요. 우리 엄마도 사실을 물론 아셨죠하지만 저를 바로잡아주기 위해 언제나 노력하셨어요무조건 혼내기보다는 항상 함께 고쳐나가자는 식으로 말씀하셨죠그런 엄마가 있었기에 저는 많은 좋은 습관들을 극복할 있었답니다

올해 12 14일에 저는 미국에 돌아가요 한국에 있는 동안 엄마의 고마움과 소중함을 더욱 느낄 있었어요돌아가면 동안 표현하지 못했던 저의 마음을 보여드리고 싶어요


After today’s class on the way out I stopped one of my Chinese classmates and asked her a question. I asked how I could write I Love You in Chinese. She began to show me and then from there she explained more stuff about each character. And from that phrase to the next, she wrote and spoke....and I wrote and repeated. At this time I felt like I was back in 10th grade again learning Korean from Jennifer Bang. It was so cool, because this Chinese girl taught me just like Jennifer taught Korean. So who knows, maybe in a few years I might be in China starting all over again. Whatever is supposed to happen will happen, I just thank God for guidance and wisdom for my future.

What I have learned by being here and sharing time with Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese people, is that I have a strong desire to study Asian history. When I was in America this past year, my longing was and still is for American history. Now that I have a lot of Asian friends and shared interesting history stories, now I think might be a part of my future study. I can’t too see what I can accomplish and learn in the future, I get so excited about all that I can learn and experience. Well that’s basically what this post is about, starting to find out what I want to do and figuring out what I’m good at. Yep….thanks for reading again~
 love you all

Friday, October 22, 2010

new experiences..

Tonight my class decided to meet up for a nice meal and share some laughs with each other. So we picked a place right inside 신촌, which is closest to our school. I felt so embarrassed and glad at the same time because everywhere where we went the food just wasn't anything I could bare. My embarrassment came from the difficulty I have always burdened from my childhood, the problem of not being able to enjoy the same foods as most people. However, on the positive side, it brought me great happiness to see my classmates search and continue to search for a place that we could all enjoy (me being the difficult variable). Over time being here in Korea, I have learned that sacrificing my needs for others is much more rewarding. I have learned that its not all about me, and that just being a little humble and letting go . . . really makes for an amazing time with the people around you. During our meal, I got to know a little bit more about the people I see almost everyday in our bland classroom. I sat right in between two individuals from China, I was so lucky enough to have sat beside one that could speak a fare amount of English. I have to be honest and say, that before I wasn't very fond of her. On the flip side, now I can again, honestly say...that she is an amazing and wonderful person. Its amazing how time works, and if you can just take the time to meet people (like I have quoted before), you can just accomplish so much. Also, I think I might have found one of my strengths, over and over again the more I talk to native Korean speakers, they always tell me that my pronunciation is right on. Basically, my intonation is quite on target with the way Koreans speak. I am not trying to put myself on a pedestal, but it surprises me that I keep hearing this. You might think "oh the reason why they say this is because she is just a foreigner who knows their language, and they are just surprised to see her." On the contrary, I have been in contact with several Korean friends who have heard me and both my friends here speak Korean. And they always tell me that my pronunciation is quite good, and say that it is almost scary (in a good way) how native my pronunciation is. Alongside this story, tonight during my time spent among many Chinese friends, the common question would come up "how do you say this in Chinese?" Of course people would ask, and so they would tell me. And as I repeated, they were immediately surprised and told me how fluent my pronunciation was. This also could have been taken as a slight gesture of a "good try (foreigner)" But one of my other friends from America actually studied Chinese, and they heard/listened to her, and still only said to me that I sounded to most like Chinese. The more I am complimented, the harder I try to completely comprehend. Before coming to Korea, my vision was only set forth on learning Korean. Even though that is a great goal, I have realized that my vision may have been a little blocked and obstructed. Sometimes we have to widen our search before we can truly find what we are looking for. I am so happy and blessed to have this opportunity to learn new things and start to put my life's puzzle together. . . . .

The reason for saying all of this comes from the fact that I have the ability to listen and regurgitate what I hear. haha, for instance, my father is a great musician. He has the ability and developed skill to listen and then be able to translate what he hears to fit music. He can hear a song being played or sung and then after about a few taps on the keyboard/piano. . .he can play with great ease and fluidity. Also when I was a young tot, my father tried to teach me the piano, but it was too difficult for one Ear to teach another Ear. In other words, we both had the same quality, which is great, but in other ways hard to master. I think I have found where I can show case my talent, by and through language. And for this, I am humbly grateful.

I believe that after this day, our relationships will definitely increase and our time together in class will be more complete. thank you all for stopping by and reading my post, sorry they are not updated every minute. But always know that I don't forget about you, and to keep praying for me. . .and I the same for you. Love you..all, good night~

Saturday, October 9, 2010

im backkk!

heyy readers, im back again after being gone so long. But i have started school and have met soooo many amazing new friends. wow, i feel like i have done a lot since last time we talked. i guess i can start of by mentioning my 2 wonderful teachers. my class starts at 1:40 each day and ends at 5:30, for the first two hours i have one teacher and then the last hours they switch. im so lucky to have them, because i heard from other students that their teachers are not so great. however, im doing well so far, i got my first A+ ahhahaa, kinda feel like im highs chool, and i pray that my last test i just took will be the same grade. please continue to pray for me as i get deeper and deeper into studying. i know that i will do well through prayers and my own discipline to work. . . . other than school, i have just been hanging out with new people and old friends. yesterday, i got to meet my korean friend from high school, i havent seen her in over a year. it felt good to finally meet her again after soo long. .i hope to meet her again soon :))
welp i should go now...i will be going to church soon, love you all, love you mom

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

my story. .

So far my time spent here has been a winding roller coaster. One day I'm completely stressed out and then next I'm on high for fun. I know now that no matter where I go or what I choose to do, its not going to be easy or clean cut. For a while now, a big issue has been finding the right friends. God lets us know that everyone has the ability to be a part of his family and that no man is perfect. However, trying to change the minds of some individuals here may not be the route to take. All I can do is share him and show his love through my actions and words. I was so happy to find this guy named Jericho because he is also a Christian, but not just because he is one, but that he shows it. At first I thought that he would be the only one, until the next couple of days when I met another guy named Hyun Yi. This guy is awesome, he is also a follower of Christ and actually teaches youth Bible classes back in California. Even though I thought that God had stepped away to test me, I realize that He has and never will leave me. Along with this good news, about 3 days ago I met up with Jericho and he has this friend with him. Someone he had just met named Seung Min, I found out later on that he is one of Gods children. Another great thing about these friends is that 2 of them are also 18 years old. How amazing is that for the longest time everybody that I had met were sooo much older than me. And now, God has blessed me with 3 new friends, two my age, and one who actually talks and helps people through Gods Word. And above everything else, each guy Hyun, Seung, and Jericho all have the gift of singing and have formed a new bond. This type of relationships are far more than expected and I praise God that he has put them in my life. He made this possible and for that I'm truly thankful. No matter how bad it may seem like it is here in Korea, I must continue to remind myself that its all in God's hands and nothing will change that. I am very thankful to be here in Korea following my dreams one step, leap, jump at a time. Please continue to pray for my as I make my way into school. This Thursday will be my first day (mom, this makes up for my 1st day absence this year in high school). I love you all who support me and pray for me and my family; don't forget you can message me on Facebook or send me an email. I will be putting pictures up very soon, sorry for being soo late. My internet here hasn't been the greatest. Welp my time has come to end, I hope that you enjoyed my story about how God is never too far away, He is always right there beside you.
Until next time. . . . .

Friday, September 24, 2010

its been crazyyy

wow...i dont even know where to start, ive been busy moving into the dorm and meeting new people. Thursday was my official move in day, i was first to my room! roommate didnt arrive till later on that day, and when i met her it was amazing. Her name is Ami, from Japan, hehe...she is sooo nice and pretty. Even though its hard to communicate, we both never give up :)) i like it when we both speak in korean hehe. And its funny sometimes, because when she is trying to explain something...she will speak in japanese :) i love it soo muchh...i will put her picture of my dorm and her on facebook. Other than meeting new people and being away from both of my homes. . .i have just been enjoying Korea and all its wonders. The other night i went to Han River, famous and main River in the heart of seoul, was soo relaxing and peaceful when the sun was going down right beside the water. I could have stayed there all day and night. Welp, i know this is short. . .but i think the more i meet people and start school. . .the more i will have to say/write. Thank you to all who follow me and support me during this time. love you bunches....come back later~

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Mountain^^

Tonight around 6:50 my mother and I left the house to go walk a famous Seoul mountain. This mountain is called Namsan and its known for its 777ft tower. My mothers friends here in Korea go walking with a large group of people. On some days they go hiking large mountains and on other days they go walking or jogging. I had thought that it would be fun and not hard because the people walking were around the ages of late 30's-50's. However, i instantly found out that my accusation was entirely WRONG. I underestimated the intensity and drive in the bones of an older Korean person. One woman was probably no younger than 50 and was wearing jeans and wasn't sweating at all. I, on the other hand, was drenched in sweat and ready to pass out. I don't even know how many miles i walked up and down that mountain. Whew~ Even though it was stressful and hard, i found that  it was rewarding due to my inability to give up. I am soo proud of myself to accomplish such a great task, and i will never forget the people i met that took the journey with me. I am really getting to see a different side to Koreans. At first glance, one might assume that all men and woman here in Korea are cold and stiff. This side of their culture is due to their business strength and self focus. In other words, i believe and have witnessed, that Koreans are extremely disciplined and focused on what they need to accomplish. This quality puts them at a social disadvantage in the states; however, in Korea its the opposite. During my walk/jog/run at namsan tower, i met a lot of cold faced people who turned out to be the kindest and most caring people. Its easy to make a judgment about someone, but its more intelligent to actually converse with someone to understand who they really are. I have definitely learned that i must not be intimidated or shy, I just have to get out and spend time with people. People in Korea are interested in me and appreciate the fact that im taking time to learn THEIR language. I don't think individuals in America take time to honor those who have come from far away to learn English. From now on, i have no reason to put anyone down for their accent or lack of pronunciation. Its an honor and i am proud of those people who make their way to America just to learn the language. Also, i am continually patting myself on the back for getting through this tough time in a foreign country. I am happy that the people of Korea are supporting me and know that i am well on my way to fully learn their beautiful language. I love Korea, i am so grateful that God has put me here, and i know that he will always make a way. . . no matter what
i love you all. . .
bye for now

Sunday, September 12, 2010

im still alive. . .

I know its been a while, but i have just been a little busy trying to complete everything. Last week i had to get many things for school and for my visa. It was and is very important that i stayed focused on getting things straight for my visa. My visa is crucial to my stay here in Korea, but all is well know that i have all of my papers straight. Thank you to everyone who is praying for me, please continue to do so. . . .and i know that i couldnt have gotten this far with out God and all of your support. Welp, aside from all this business stuff, i still have been getting out and having fun with new friends. The other day i went out with 6 new friends from all over the world. There were, including me, 4 girls and 3 guys. One girl was from France, the other from the UK and the last girl is  Philippine. As for the guys, well they are all native to Korea, just an all around good combination. However, even though it was our first meeting. . .and i have never met these people in my life, i still managed to cause a scene and break the ice. Let me explain, so earlier on that day i met the girl from France who took me to her house where we could get ready. Along with her i met the other girl from the UK, she is very fashionable and offered me her HIGH heels (so cute). Anyway. . .i decided to wear them, but i realized that it was a bad decision because immediately after we walked outside, it started to poor down rain. Not only was i slipping because it was wet, but the shoes were leather. . soo when it rained on them, they began to stretch. (good job ashley) haha. . soo i didnt stop walking, and we finally got to our meeting place with the guys and the last girl. It was soo nice to meet these people, but soon the night turned worse. . when i actually began to fall and slip terribly in the rain. :(((( on the flip side, one of the guys was so kind to give me a ride, and carried me all the way to the restaurant and everywhere else basically. i thought i was going to be soo embarrassed, but really.. .i was the character that broke the ice for everyone, and now i Know that i can get through anything. . no matter how hard or embarrassing it might seem. im grateful to have had that experience, even though it was painful. Maybe you can understand me, but i believe you have to go through something like that to understand. Oh and the best part to it, was that one of the guys ended up buying me SHOES :) wow. . .  im not sure if people, especially young people in America would go to that lengths of helping out a stranger. .  but maybe im wrong. I am just so thankful to my new friends, and their support.
Welp. im left with 6 amazing buds, and 2 gruesome brusies...all is well ha
until next time,

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dinner Time:

Around 8pm i got a phone call from 아빠 (my Korean dad), he asked me what did i want for dinner. So i told him chicken, haha. . .when he got home, he had a box of fried chicken (don't know where he found that) =] anyways, then he started to talk to me in Korean. . and i was able to carry on the conversation (surprisingly). The more he continues to talk to me, and not speak in English, the more im learning and understanding. I may not get it the first time, but he repeats and repeats himself until i do. I'm glad that i can spend this time in a real Korean home, learning the language. Its the best way, i think to learn. Me sitting down reading a book about speaking Korean doesn't really give one the true experience of what it sounds like or any situations. So even though so far my time hasn't been a smooth sail; i can always be thankful for these times where i can truly feel how its like to speak Korean. I love this family very much, and i know they love me. :) it shows greatly, well im off for now. Just thought i would share my dinner meal with you. haha

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Want to see pictures? go to the links under "look here"

chilln at home. .

Right now im jus chiiln on MY bed hangin out with 지완 :) her brother. We are really alike, we have the same shy personality, but we like the same music and we get along. He really hates English, and hates to speak it, but me bein here has really changed that. He says more stuff to me english and i the same in korean. Anyways, i think its good for him, we both have a challenge to communicate. Thats a good thing though, no doubt. ha, the other day he actually invited me to his room (not like that), but hes not one to talk to anyone (seriously) he doesnt even like to say anythin to his parents or anybody, but anywayss back to my story. Here in korea, learning korean is vital and they begin to learn when their wee little tots. 지완 is a senior in high school, and he has to complete his english class in order to pass. So he was showing me his papers from school, and its really complicated. Im sure Mrs. Sasser would find them very easy, but for him they are confusing. He told me that english is his "mountain", i love the way koreans say things. . . its very creative. So i think with me being here more, and more studying on his part. . he will be jus fine :) and a great english student.haha...welp, now we are jus listenin to music and stuff, i ll be back to talk some more...byee for now lovers ;p

Friday, August 27, 2010

Dark Chocolate?

So..tonight i jus got a taste of what my month to come will be like. ehh, it was very bitter sweet or like my mom would say "dark chocolate". Let me explain, in order for me to continue my stay in korea, i must get a longer period visa. This process is very painful and longgggggg. . .especially when doing in a foreign contry. Yikes~ welp anyways, just a few hours ago, jennifers dad, her brother and i had about a good 40 minute conversation which consisted of broken korean, brokenengish, broken Konglish, just broken everything. Heres the sad part, AS SOON AS we all understood each other (about my visa), jennifer prances<<--exaggeration right on inside the house :// ehh , as they would say in korea 헐 '_';;; 
even though it was hard, and quite teeth clinching (for all of us). . . . i learned a few more words and got to feel the conversation.

Basically what im trying to say, is that even though its difficult to communicate. . it was a good lesson for me(and for them the same). I hope that after i attend my school, i will be able to communicate more clearly and comfortably. In the end, all was resolved, and now i can prepare myself for a long month :/ sheeesh~

welp i ll be back to share more embarassing situations and fun ones as well,
SEE ya

Thursday, August 26, 2010

sorry. . .

So im back, wishing i had good news to share. Ehh. . all of this stuff is overwhelming. Its difficult to get everything in order when you cant speak the same language. Even though i know a lot....! I cant hold a good substantial conversation. Im notsure what i am going to do when jennifer leaves, i didnt realize how tough it would be until i got here. Surprise...well i will still continue to pray and trust that God has my situation under control.

As for todays experience, we were woken up to a phone call from her mom. She told us to be ready in about 30 minutes. Waiting for us at the bottom of her apartment were her grandparents. (here in Korea, older people are considered to be high class, as far as treating them with great respect) Unlike America, we had to prepare ourselves to act with poise and respect. I find this way of culture interesting and reasonable. Sorry for the aside. . . . . . . .Anyways, after we met them we got in the car and headed to a traditional korean restaurant. They served a lot of food, some of which i tried but absolutely didnt like. Im sure my mom would very much like the food, and its all in small portions. After our meal, jennifer and i went to the post office. After there we went to krispy kreme and then went on home. Now im sitting at the computer with my next to do list for tomorrow and an empty brain. I feel like my time here will and has already began to change me. Thank you for being patient with me, after i begin to settle down. . . my post will be up quicker. Until then...keep praying and stay happy :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

wow. . .31° C/87.8° F

I think im bout to pass out its extremely hot here. Even though its not 90 or 100 degrees, they dont turn the air condition on in the house (to save energy). . .and the humidity, whew~ 
welp soon it will begin to cool downn. . 
Right now me and jennifer are about to get ready to go out to a place called 명동. This is a famous shopping street here in SKorea. You can find so much stuff for a low price, and really expensive stuff. So there is a lot of variety. Then later we are going to go see a movie, maybe with her friends too. :)) I will take pictures and put them on here so you can see the place. And i will put the other pictures i have taken up on here from the other dayy. Well....i should hurry up and go get readyy. I will be back to share more stories from the past days and pictures...
Love you all, 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

10:55 am

Today i feel that i woke up to early, the heat has really affected me a lot. I feel sick to my stomach sometimes when i smell the food when the air in and outside the house is so hottt~ whew...i dont remember this feeling last year, or maybe i jus forgot. . later on today, around 1:20, we are going to take a bus that sends us all the way to the airport, which is 2 hrs awayy. Everything here take time to get to, especially if your walking, using the subways. . .and soo on ://
dont get me wrong,i love it here and i love staying with my family, its jus there is soo much to get done and prepared for these next 4 months. . yesterday i went to this cute school supply shop called "ARTBOX" ahhh so cute and inexpensive
anyways, i got this organizer and scheduler for everything. . i already wrote everything important, and im sure its goin to help me a great deal. . . welp my stomach is hurtn from sittn here writting this. . i should go and try to eat something. .
Love you all..miss you some more too

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

im hereeee~

heyy guys, im finally here in Korea. Jennifer and her mother picked me up from the airport. I got kind of scared because she was not at my gate when i arrived, all i could see were these surprised korean faces all staring me down. Sometimes the attention gets me, because its not like that back in the states. Everybody in Korea is Korean, and people in America are of all different ethnicities. I got used to the attention last year, im sure i will be able to do it again this year. Besides all the faces, ive been having sooo much fun already. Jennifers family and i went out to eat at the restaurant i ate at on my last day in Korea (last year). Her mom and dad, well they are my parents as well. I love them verrryyy much, they treat me like their own daughter. Today at the restaurant, they kept on saying how much i have grown and how beautiful i look. :)) awww, i know it though. Anyways, i am going to miss you (my family, friends, and Jacob)! i have to go soon, jennifer and i are goin to buy makeup and a special subway card. . . love you all~ please continue to read my posts, ENJOY,

Sunday, August 15, 2010

next to last day in USA

So i'm really crushed. . .i sat down at around 11:16 to write out a post, and i was getting ready to confirm it. . . and stupid me, erased every single word :// i want to cry, but i wont. i just want to be able to remember everything. . i'll give it a try

So. . like i was saying-ish, today i (well my mother and i) finished all of my packing. There is tooo much to think about, i still have another list of stuff i have to get when im in Korea. For anybody planning to travel overseas, be prepared to plan and plan, especially ahead of time. Trust me, its worth it though. Last year when i traveled to Korea, i only stayed about 2 weeks. But i knew as soon as i got in the car and left the airport. . . i knew that i was going to come back and study or do something amazing! and guess what, im going back and i have plans to study at a beautiful school in Seoul named Yonsei University. right now. . I'm a little nervous to get started, but im sure everything will work out. Just remember to keep me in your prayers. . .for sure :) I love you all, 
and this post is just one of many soon to come. . . muahhh~  

(11:33)=sad face